beginners guide to responsive web design

This week we take a beginner’s introduction to Responsive Web Design. We’ll look at what Responsive web design is. How responsive design can benefit your business, and look at the link between responsive web design and WordPress – the free website and blogging platform.

What is Responsive Design?

Nowadays your website will get visitors from people using phones, tablets, laptops, desktop PCs and even TVs. All of these have different screen sizes, from a small iPhone screen to a 60 inch TV.

Responsive Web Design, also sometimes called ‘mobile-friendly’, describes an approach to web design where the layout and content adapts to make best use of the device being used to view the website.

A responsive website will change to match the screen size of the visitor’s device.

For example, visiting a responsive website on a phone will show a smaller menu, and a single column of images and text whereas visiting the same website on a PC will show an extended menu plus 3 columns of text and images.


Screen sizes are constantly changing, so a responsive design means your website can adapt to any screen size, today or in the future.

What are the Benefits of Responsive Web Design?

Increase your audience by giving your mobile and tablet a better experience

More people are using their phones and tablets to browse websites. A responsive design improves the user experience for phone and tablet users, increasing the likelihood they’ll stay on your website. Menus are easier to reach, text easier to read and images look better. The less time your users need to spend pinching to zoom, and swiping to scroll then the more likely your visitors are to stay on your website, read your content and convert into customers.

Save Time and Cost on Web Development

Using one website, instead of separate mobile sub sites makes it easier and faster to develop, whilst also keeping development costs down. Responsive web design lets you focus on one website. One website takes less time to update and is easier to market and promote compared to running separate ‘main’ and ‘mobile’ websites.

Increase Visibility in Search Engines

Responsive design means you can focus your SEO efforts on a single web site, making it a more cost-effective way of reaching your SEO goals. You can also avoid pitfalls such as duplicate-content which can arise through multiple websites for each device.

As we noted earlier this year, today’s the day we begin globally rolling out our mobile-friendly update. We’re boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results. Now searchers can more easily find high-quality and relevant results where text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling.

In April 2015 Google announced as part of their mobile-friendly update they would start boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results.

Whilst Google acknowledge they still use a variety of signals to rank search results, such as speed of web hosting, server location and content, Google users searching on their mobile device now see results comprising links to pages with mobile-friendly versions. Google’s reasoning behind boosting responsive web pages is they are keen to deliver a better browser experience to their users by linking to like-minded web sites.

Make better use of white/dead space.

Upscale and add more content to your website. A relatively new branch of responsive design, upscaling is about taking advantage of the larger screen sizes available today on desktop PCs and laptops. When a visitor to your site is using a really large screen, instead of showing the visitor white ‘dead’ space you can add extra content like contact forms, extra images and videos.

Increase sales and conversions rates

There’s a proven link between browser experience and conversion rates. The easier you make it for your visitors to find the information they’re seeking, the greater the chance they’ll convert into a sale or lead. When combined with fast web hosting, responsive web design can help deliver optimised content to your visitor regardless of device.

Responsive Design and WordPress

WordPress, a popular open-source CMS and blogging platform, offers full support for responsive web sites and is an incredibly easy and cost-effective way of getting a mobile-ready website.

Out-of-the box WordPress includes the fantastic Twenty Sixteen theme which is fully responsive and offers a great starting point. For more adventurous users, there’s the official WordPress Theme Directory with over 1400 Responsive WordPress Theme to choose from. Installing and trying out your new responsive theme is easy and only takes a few clicks.

Responsive Web Design and Web Hosting

Web Hosting is an essential part of responsive web design. The faster your web hosting, the greater the chance of delivering a richer experience to your customers leading to an increase in sales and leads. Our range of web hosting plans include special features which can help reduce the load times of your website – especially important for mobile users.

  • Ecenica CDN – our global network of data centres.
  • Advanced Caching technology.
  • Fast SSD Hosting with 20x performance.
  • Free UK-based Technical Support who are on hand to offer tips on how to optimise your site for mobile.

See our fast, secure Web Hosting and Managed VPS.

All web hosting packages are hosted from the UK and include free UK-based support and free 60-day money back guarantee.

Feel free to contact us for more details.

Further reading

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